Italian Almond Cake Recipe (easy and flourless)

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A simple and delicious recipe for Italian Almond Cake that’s easy to make and naturally gluten-free with almond flour. This cake is soft with a moist crumb and a delicious almond and lemon flavor. Great for any occasion.

You will also love Amaretti cookies (Italian almond cookies).

slice taken out of the almond cake with a cake server.
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Best and Easy Almond Cake

You’ll love this torta di mandorle (almond cake) for its delightful combination of rich almond flavor and moist, fluffy texture. The almond flour provides a distinct nuttiness, while the addition of lemon zest adds a refreshing citrus note.

A great addition to a holiday meal, or an elegant dessert served with a cup of coffee or tea. Try these next: Olive Oil Cake, Italian Apple Cake, Carrot Cake, and Sardinian Pardulas Recipe (Ricotta Cakes).

cake server holding up a slice of the almond cake.

Simple Ingredients

This Italian almond flour cake is made without all-purpose flour for an authentic and simple Italian almond torte recipe. It’s an easy recipe you can whip up on a whim.

ingredient shot for recipe.
  • Almond Flour: Ground almonds that add a rich, nutty flavor and a moist texture to the cake. Almond flour also makes the cake gluten-free.
  • Granulated Sugar: Provides sweetness to the cake, balancing the nutty flavors of the almond flour.
  • Baking Powder: A leavening agent that helps the cake rise and gives it a light, fluffy texture.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the cake by balancing the sweetness and adding a subtle savory note.
  • Eggs (Separated): Separating the eggs allows you to incorporate air into the batter. Egg yolks contribute richness, while whipped egg whites add lightness.
  • Olive oil: Adds moisture and helps achieve a smooth batter.
  • Almond Extract: Enhances the flavor profile with a hint of almond sweetness.
  • Lemon Zest: Grated outer peel of a lemon that imparts a citrusy, bright flavor to the cake, complementing the almonds.
  • Sliced Almonds (for topping): Provide a crunchy texture and a visually appealing finish to the cake.

See the recipe card for quantities.

How to make (step-by-step instructions)

For the full printable recipe, go to the bottom of the blog post.

How to make easy almond cake recipe step by step: mixing the dry ingredients.

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan, or springform pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper for easy removal.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder, and salt.

How to make easy almond cake recipe step by step: mixing the wet ingredients in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon zest until thick, creamy, and pale yellow in color. Use an electric mixer at medium speed.  Add the oil and almond extract to the egg yolks and mix well.

How to make easy almond cake recipe step by step: adding olive oil to the wet ingredients.

Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until combined. 

How to make easy almond cake recipe step by step: whipping the egg whites.

In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

How to make easy almond cake recipe step by step: combining the wet and dry ingredients.

Add wet ingredients to the dry mixture.

How to make easy almond cake recipe step by step: mixing the wet and dry ingredients to combine.

Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter with a rubber spatula until no white streaks remain.

How to make easy almond cake recipe step by step: adding egg whites to the cake batter.

How to make easy almond cake recipe step by step: folding the egg whites into the batter.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle sliced almonds evenly over the top of the batter.

How to make easy almond cake recipe step by step: placing batter in a round metal pan and baking. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Bake cake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

How to make easy almond cake recipe step by step: cake after it is baked in the pan.

Once cooled, you can dust the top with powdered sugar if desired.

finished Easy almond cake on a white background.

Slice and serve!

knife cutting into the almond cake recipe.

Variations

  • Orange Blossom Almond Cake:
    • Replace the lemon zest with orange zest and add a few drops of orange blossom water to infuse a fragrant, citrusy aroma into the cake.
  • Raspberry Almond Cake:
    • Gently fold in fresh or frozen raspberries into the batter. The tartness of the raspberries complements the sweet almond flavor. Add some chocolate chips for a rich flavor!
  • Cardamom and Rose Almond Cake:
    • Add ground cardamom to the dry ingredients for a warm, aromatic twist. You can also include a hint of rose water for a floral note.
  • Lavender Honey Almond Cake:
    • Infuse the melted butter with dried culinary lavender before incorporating it into the batter. Drizzle the cooled cake with a light lavender honey glaze for a unique flavor profile.
  • Lemon Blueberry Almond Cake:
    • Replace the lemon zest with lime zest and fold in fresh or frozen blueberries for a burst of sweetness and vibrant color. In addition, sprinkle some white chocolate chips for a pretty and fun twist.

Equipment

These are some of my kitchen favorites:

easy almond cake recipe on a plate with a fork taking a bite.

Storage

To ensure the freshness and quality of your simple almond cake, it’s essential to store it properly. Here’s a guide on how to store the cake:

  • Room Temperature:
    • The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, especially if your kitchen is relatively cool. Keep it in an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
  • Refrigeration:
    • For longer storage, refrigerate the almond cake. Place it in an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from absorbing any odors from the refrigerator. The cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Freezing:
    • If you want to store the almond cake for an extended period, consider freezing it. Wrap the completely cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Label the package with the date for reference. The cake can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
  • Thawing:
    • When ready to enjoy the frozen cake, transfer it to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. This gradual thawing helps maintain the cake’s texture and prevents condensation.
  • Reheating (if desired):
    • If you prefer serving the almond cake warm, you can reheat individual slices in the microwave or warm them in a preheated oven for a few minutes. Be cautious not to overheat to avoid drying out the cake.
easy almond cake recipe on a plate with a fork taking a bite.

This cake pairs well with a dollop of whipped cream or fresh strawberries. 

Top tips for best results

  • Use High-Quality Almond Flour:
  • Separate Eggs Carefully:
    • When separating eggs, ensure no traces of egg yolk are in the egg whites, as this can affect the ability to whip the whites into stiff peaks.
  • Whip Egg Whites to Stiff Peaks:
    • Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. This step adds lightness and a fluffy texture to the cake.
  • Incorporate Air Into Batter:
    • Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter to incorporate air, contributing to the cake’s light and airy structure.
  • Evenly Distribute Lemon Zest:
    • Ensure that the lemon zest is evenly distributed throughout the batter to infuse a consistent citrus flavor.
  • Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat the oven before baking to ensure an even and consistent rise in the cake.
  • Properly Grease and Line the Pan:
    • Grease the cake pan thoroughly and line the bottom with parchment paper to prevent sticking and ease in removing the cake.
  • Test for Doneness:
    • Use a toothpick or cake tester to check for doneness. The toothpick should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.
easy almond cake recipe on a plate with a fork taking a bite. Cake topped with whipped cream and strawberry.

FAQs

Can I make this cake ahead of time?

Yes, the cake can be made ahead and stored. Follow proper storage instructions, and it can be refrigerated or frozen for a longer shelf life.

How do I prevent the cake from sticking to the pan?

Thoroughly grease the pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. This helps in easy removal without sticking.

How do I know when the cake is done baking?

Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake; it should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Avoid overbaking to maintain moisture.

Can I freeze individual slices?

Yes, wrapping individual slices tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil before freezing allows for convenient thawing and serving.

How to measure almond flour correctly

Fluff the Almond Flour: Before measuring, fluff up the almond flour with a fork or spoon. This helps prevent it from being packed down, ensuring a more accurate measurement.
Use the Spoon-and-Level Method:
Gently spoon the almond flour into the measuring cup without pressing it down.
Use the back of a knife or a straight-edged utensil to level off the excess almond flour, creating a flat surface.

Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:

Serving Suggestions

These are my favorite dishes to serve with flourless almond cake:

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Best Easy Almond Cake Recipe

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5 from 16 reviews

A simple and delicious recipe for Italian Almond Cake that’s easy to make and naturally gluten-free with almond flour. This cake is soft with a moist crumb and a delicious almond and lemon flavor. Great for any occasion.

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Sliced almonds for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan, or springform pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper for easy removal.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon zest until thick, creamy, and pale yellow in color. Use an electric mixer at medium speed.  Add the oil and almond extract to the egg yolks and mix well.
  4. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until combined. 
  5. In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter ,with a rubber spatula, until no white streaks remain.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle sliced almonds evenly over the top of the batter.
  7. Bake cake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Once cooled, you can dust the top with powdered sugar if desired.
  9. Slice and serve! This cake pairs well with a dollop of whipped cream or fresh strawberries. 
  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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33 Comments

  1. This cake was so good and easy to make! I was able to bring it to my friends who are gluten and dairy intolerant. They loved being able to have the same treat as everyone else.






  2. Made this cake for my mom who is a native of Italy (Lazio region) she loved it and so did my dad. Great with coffee or any time of day.






  3. I made this cake for Easter dessert. Sorry I forgot to take a photo. I was concerned at first that the batter was thick before I added in the egg whites. However, it turned out beautifully moist and delicious. It also keeps well in the refrigerator for leftovers. I will definitely make some of the variations in the future!






    1. Yay! Happy you loved it. Yes, at first it seems a bit thick, but then it turns and bakes beautifully. Enjoy!